MPI, Capelight Set DVD, Blu-ray Dates for ‘Chernobyl 1986,’ ‘The Hidden Life of Trees’

Capelight Pictures and MPI Media Group on Nov. 2 will release Chernobyl 1986 and The Hidden Life of Trees on Blu-ray Disc and DVD.

Chernobyl 1986 follows the deadly explosion that year at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in what was then the Soviet Union. Europe is faced with an even greater threat — a possible steam explosion that would eject even more radioactive material into the atmosphere over the entire continent. Firefighter Alexey volunteers for what seems like a suicide mission: manually drain the plant’s reservoir before the melting reactor collapses into it. Risking their lives in service to their country, Alexey and his colleagues must navigate the labyrinthine passages of the plant’s underground, facing danger at every turn from the facility’s quickly failing infrastructure. With time running out, and the fate of all of Europe hanging in the balance, this team of ordinary citizens turned heroes must use all their strength and bravery to save their nation from complete devastation.

The Hidden Life of Trees is based on the bestselling book of the same name by forester and writer Peter Wohlleben. Traveling through Germany, Poland, Sweden and Vancouver, he discusses, debates and explains the process of life, death and regeneration he has observed in the woodland, and the scientific mechanisms behind trees.

Four Vintage Horror Films From 1930s, ’40s Due on Blu-ray Nov. 2 From Kino Lorber

Kino Lorber on Nov. 2 is releasing four vintage horror classics, two from the 1930s and two from the 1940s, available on a brand-new 2K Master Blu-ray Disc.

The two oldest films are the 1933 The Secret of the Blue Room and, from 1935, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

The Secret of the Blue Room features a young woman whose 21st birthday celebration is eclipsed when her father reveals the dark details of his estate’s guest room. Hoping to prove their bravery and win Irene’s love, each of her three suitors agrees to spend a night in the room, which sets a new string of mysteries in motion.

A haunting film adaptation of the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, follows an opium-addicted choirmaster, John Jasper, as he becomes obsessed with a young student named Rosa. His nephew, Edwin Drood, develops a crush on the girl and asks her to marry him. Things grow even more complex when Drood disappears.

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Also available on Blu-ray Disc Nov. 2 are The Mad Doctor (1941) and The Spider Woman Strikes Back (1946).

The Mad Doctor follows the story of a smooth and sinister physician who woos, weds, and murders several of his wealthy women patients for their fortunes. Kino Lorber also is releasing this film on standard DVD.

The Spider Woman Strikes Back features Gale Sondergaard as the diabolical Zenobia Dollard, a wealthy blind woman shrouded in mystery. When all the preceding caretakers vanish without a trace, Jean (Brenda Joyce) is hired to fill the role — but it is soon discovered that Zenobia has used the blood of her predecessors to create a death serum, and that her own blood is being harvested at night to continue the experiment.

Shout! Factory Tapped to Distribute Cult Sci-Fi Series ‘Starhunter ReduX’

Starfield CreatorCo, a Toronto-based science-fiction film and television production company, on Oct. 13 announced that it has signed a distribution deal with Shout! Factory for its popular Canadian sci-fi series “Starhunter ReduX,” now available on Amazon Prime in the United States and the UK.

The original “Starhunter” series aired for two seasons, beginning in 2000. In May 2018 an updated and expanded version of the series, “Starhunter: ReduX,” was released on the El Rey Network with updated  special effects, new footage and a 4K transfer in a 16:9 aspect ratio. The distribution deal provides Shout! Factory all media rights in North America.

“There couldn’t be a better distributor for us than Shout! Factory,” said Starfield CEO Philip Jackson. “Their identification with the markets that our audiences live in is a robust but particular kind of demographic. No one is better positioned to maximize the exploitation of this 44-episode sci-fi classic than Shout! Factory.”

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The release of the series 21 years ago created a loyal cult following. Subscribers to Amazon Prime in the United States and the UK can now watch all 44 fully-restored episodes, many of which boast new footage. Missing or censored content was re-shot from scratch in half of the episodes. This involved writing an additional story arc that entailed having actors 20 years older meeting their former selves in green-screened interaction.

The current re-launch of the two-season series on Amazon Prime includes a daily social media campaign showcasing episode previews and never-before-seen production stills from the show as well as behind-the-scenes footage. The media roll-out began in August and continues today on Starhunter’s popular platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit.

‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’ to Get 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Release From Kino Lorber

Kino Lorber Studio Classics is giving a 1970s sci-fi classic the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray treatment.

The independent supplier has announced the Nov. 23 release of director Philip Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers in a special two-disc 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc set.

The first disc contains a 4KUHD newly restored HDR Dolby Vision master and the second disc features a newly restored UHD SDR master, both from a 4K scan of the original camera negative and approved and color graded by Kaufman.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers was released theatrically in December 1978.

An adaptation of Jack Finney’s classic novel The Body Snatchers, the film begins with filmy spores that fall from space over San Francisco, causing the city to blossom with a new flora. When people take the flowers home, it is discovered that the plants can devour humans and steal their identities and emotions, uniqueness, and even their souls.

Featuring a screenplay by W.D. Richter (Big Trouble in Little China) and camerawork by Michael Chapman (Raging Bull), the film stars Donald Sutherland (The Puppet Masters), Brooke Adams (The Dead Zone), Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), Jeff Goldblum (The Fly) and Veronica Cartwright (Alien).


Shout! Studios Sets Digital Release Dates for ‘Language Lessons’

Shout! Studios has announced the Oct. 26 release of Language Lessons, a collaboration between Natalie Morales (Dead to Me, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) and Mark Duplass (“The Morning Show,” Bombshell).

The film will be available through digital retailers and video-on-demand (VOD) and  can be pre-ordered now on iTunes.

Language Lessons begins with a man named Adam (Duplass), who is surprised by his husband with weekly Spanish lessons. Unsure about where or how the lessons will fit into his already structured life, he faces tragedy and his Spanish teacher, Cariño (Morales), becomes the lifeline he didn’t know he needed. Adam develops an unexpected and complicated emotional bond with Cariño that may or may not be a result of a traumatic moment they shared.

The film is the winner of the 2021 SXSW Narrative Spotlight Audience Award and the 2021 Provincetown Best Narrative Film Audience Award. IndieWire critic Katie Erbland praised Morales’ work: “Morales’ winning Language Lessons offers one of the best uses of the format yet, a ‘Zoom film’ that utilizes its constraints to craft an intimate, expressive two-hander, no fatigue in sight.”

Breaking Glass Sets Oct. 26 Home Release Date for Ninth ‘Bad Ben’ Found Horror Film

Breaking Glass Pictures has announced the Oct. 26 release of Bad Ben: Benign, the ninth installment of the “Bad Ben” found footage horror series from director Nigel Bach, who also stars in the films.

The film will be available on available on DVD and video-on-demand (VOD) platforms including iTunes/Apple TV, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu, Vimeo. It also will be available through local cable and satellite providers.

Bad Ben: Benign begins right where the series left off, as Tom Riley wanders out of the woods behind his home on Steelmanville Road, and must climb through a window to get inside. He is baffled when he sees objects in the house that aren’t his, things moving on their own, and soon finds himself dealing with evil forces. To figure out how to rid the house of evil, he must rely on the help from others and eventually faces the most powerful demon he has ever come across.

The Bad Ben series began in 2016, and has since seen eight installments: Bad Ben, Steelmanville Road, Badder Ben, Bad Ben: The Mandela Effect, The Crescent Moon Clown, Bad Ben: The Way In, Bad Ben: The Haunted Highway, and Bad Ben: Pandemic.

Kino Lorber Sets Oct. 19 DVD Release Date for ‘On Broadway’ Documentary

Kino Lorber has announced the Oct. 19 DVD-only release of On Broadway, a newly produced documentary on the legendary Great White Way.

As audiences prepare for the return of live theater after the extended COVID-19 shutdown,  an all-star cast tells the inside story of the last time Broadway came back from the brink, through the early 1980s “Save the Theaters” campaign. This came after New York’s storied live-theater scene had been struck by economic downturns, cultural shifts and the AIDS crisis — as well as the threatened destruction of historic theater buildings by big-money Manhattan developers. On Broadway shows how this revival helped save New York City, thanks to innovative work, a new attention to inclusion, and the sometimes uneasy balance between art and commerce.

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The documentary includes interviews with such stage and screen icons as Hugh Jackman, Helen Mirren, Christine Baranski, August Wilson, James Corden, Alec Baldwin, John Lithgow, Viola Davis and Ian McKellen. They take viewers behind the scenes of Broadway’s most groundbreaking and beloved shows, from A Chorus Line to Hamilton.

Also included are archival clips of iconic performances by Lin Manuel Miranda, Patti Lupone, Bernadette Peters, James Earl Jones and Mandy Patinkin.

On Broadway was directed by Academy Award-nominated director Oren Jacoby.

Broadway has been slowly reopening, with some changes, according to CNN. Audience members need to show proof of vaccination and are required to wear masks. There are no longer intermissions or autograph opportunities at stage doors, and some show times are being condensed to about 90 minutes.

LGBTQ Drama ‘On the Fringe of the Wild’ Gets Home Release Dates on DVD, VOD

Breaking Glass Pictures has announced the Oct. 12 home release of On the Fringe of the Wild, an LGBTQ drama that marks the directorial debut from Emma Catalfamo.

The film will be available on DVD and VOD, the latter on such platforms as iTunes/Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, DirecTV, and through various local cable and satellite providers.

Starring Harrison Browne, Cameron Stewart and Mikael Melo, On the Fringe of Wild serves as an early 21st century snapshot of queer adolescent boys on the verge of growing up into men and discovering their authentic selves. A “Romeo and Juliet” stylized romance between two teenage boys, the film is set in a small Ontario town, where love does not win, but the surviving players grow to accept themselves as members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The film had its world premiere at the OUTShine Miami Film Festival in April 2021, and saw its California premiere at FilmOut San Diego in September.

Kino Lorber Sets Oct. 26 DVD, Blu-ray Date for ‘Gomorrah,’ Called ‘Italy’s Answer’ to ‘Breaking Bad’

Kino Lorber Oct. 26 will release season one sets of “Gomorrah: The Series” on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

The Italian crime drama has been called Italy’s answer to “Breaking Bad.”

“Gomorrah: The Series” is a gangster show from Stefano Sollima (Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, Romanzo Criminale), based on Roberto Saviano’s best-selling book and the subsequent award-winning film of the same name.

Season one tells the inside story of the fierce Neapolitan crime organization the Camorra. It is shown through the eyes of Ciro (Marco D’Amore), the obedient and self-confident right-hand man of the clan’s godfather, Pietro Savastano (Fortunato Cerlino), whose loyalty is pushed to its limits over twelve blood-drenched episodes.

Vertical Entertainment Sets Theatrical, VOD Release Dates for Steven Grayhm’s ‘The Secret of Sinchanee’

Vertical Entertainment has announced Steven Grayhm’s The Secret of Sinchanee will be available in theaters and for VOD viewing Oct. 8. Coming off the festival circuit, where it won a number of awards, the paranormal thriller will be available on all major digital and cable platforms, including Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Vudu, Comcast, Spectrum, and Cox.

In the film, Grayhm stars opposite Green Beret and former NFL player Nate Boyer (“Mayans M.C.”) and Tamara Austin (“The Walking Dead”), who play Boston homicide detectives lured to a small-town after the disappearance of a single mother. The Secret of Sinchanee also stars breakout Netflix child star Laila Lockhart Kraner (“Gabby’s Dollhouse”), Jacob Schick (American Sniper, A Star Is Born), and Rudy Reyes (“Generation Kill”).

“We’re very excited to be partnering with Steven and his skilled filmmaking team on his first feature film and to bring a new chilling experience to horror/thriller fans,” said Josh Spector, SVP of acquisitions at Vertical Entertainment. “We look forward to audiences feeling the same gripping suspense we did when we first saw the film as they truly experience The Secret of Sinchanee.”

The Secret of Sinchanee was produced by Grayhm and Nate Boyer under their Team House Studios banner. Grayhm directed from his own script. Joe Newcomb (Dallas Buyers Club) served as executive producer through Truth Entertainment.

“This is a deeply personal film that tackles incredibly challenging themes of xenophobia, childhood trauma, and mental health issues, testing the confines of the horror/thriller genre,” Grayhm said.